19 Striker IFK Göteborg Sweden
Bounding, chirpy teenage striker that has played more than sixty times for IFK Göteborg, scoring fifteen times.
A trialist at Liverpool while still at school, Engvall has been a great hope in Sweden for several years and expectations are high. Picking up his football education at Färjestadens GoIF, Engvall moved to Blåvitt in 2012 and has gradually become a more significant player for the Gothenburg club. He’s also made a mark at international level and was one of the brightest players on display at the UEFA U17 European Championship in 2013.
2015 has been…
Onward and upward. The gradual introduction of Gustav Engvall to first team action under Mikael Stahre accelerated this year with Jörgen Lennartsson offering further opportunities to the indomitable young striker. An injury in the early weeks of the 2015 Allsvenskan campaign hampered early momentum but by the halfway stage Engvall had forced his way fully into contention at the Gamla Ullevi.
A pair of assists in the 2-2 draw at Norrköping set the tone for the remainder of the season as Engvall took turns to lead the line with Mikael Boman with their club sitting at the top of the table. Indeed it was only during the latter weeks of the season that the championship slipped beyond Göteborg’s grasp. Disappointing draws against Halmstads, Djurgardens and Kalmar in three of the final five games allowed the relentless Norrköping to step in and claim top spot on the last day of the season.
For his part, Engvall had been impressive and weighed in with goals against Solna and the aforementioned Djurgardens. Operating as a lone striker in Lennartsson’s favoured set up, Engvall and Boman would often act as the decoy to the onrushing Søren Rieks, a key player during the title push. While Lennartsson’s tactical approach almost came off, he perhaps blunted the predatory instincts of Engvall. A competent enough player to deal with the linking up side of things, the striker’s goalscoring tally is a lot lower than we’d have expected. The early season injury didn’t help, but we’d have to wonder whether more could have been extracted.
A move abroad; Göteborg are skint and could really use the cash. Stoke City looks likely at time of writing, but we’d be surprised to see Engvall anywhere near the first team straight away. He’d be going to a good place if it comes off though.
A move like this would be good for the medium term, but would hamper Engvall’s chances of making an impact next summer with the 2016 European Championships a golden carrot. He’s more than capable of making an impact but will need an exceptionally strong run somewhere between now and May to convince Erik Hamrén that there’s a place on the bus.
All in all a relatively good year of progress for a player you’re likely to hear a lot more about in years to come.
C Good luck for 2016!
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